The Cleveland Indians are "not planning a massive overhaul over the next week because they intend to compete next season," but they could make "strategic trades" involving players such as closer Chris Perez and outfielder Chin-Soo Choo, reports Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports:
Their potential free agents include right-hander Derek Lowe, first baseman Casey Kotchman and left fielder Johnny Damon. But their most attractive pieces are two players who are still eligible for arbitration – closer Chris Perez and right fielder Shin-Soo Choo.
While the Indians could trade free agents-to-be Derek Lowe, Casey Kotchman and Johnny Damon, Rosenthal and Morosi say Perez and Choo figure to be more attractive pieces.
They note that the San Francisco Giants are interested in Perez, who Cleveland would consider trading because "they are deep in relievers" and the right-hander will earn roughly $7 million in arbitration next season.
Choo would be more difficult for the Indians to replace, according to Rosenthal and Morosi, but they believe he could be traded as the chances of signing him to an extension are "slim." Choo, who currently sports a line of .293/.377/.484, is set to reach free agency after the 2013 season.
Rosenthal and Morosi note that if the Indians trade players such as Perez and Choo, they’d be seeking "players who would strengthen their current club" in return.
Should the Indians trade Choo and/or Perez now?